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SubjectRe: Interesting analysis of linux kernel threading by IBM
On Sun, 23 Jan 2000, Steve Underwood wrote:

> So, that is why the movie industry, pharmaceutical industry, and various other
> groups with a huge demand for simulation and modelling computation, like
> uniprocessor farms of the Beowulf type. I have seen descriptions of a couple of
> Beowulf systems composed of dual-processor Alphas, but I am puzzled as to why. It
> doesn't usually work out as effective as using more single CPU machines.

The reason why some are using dual CPU machines for clusters instead of
single CPU machines is that (properly setup) you can make use of the
automatic load balancing on the SMP nodes to smooth out your CPU loading
slightly. If you use two seperate machines and one becomes idle for a
moment you have to do more work to make it busy again then if you have a
couple of processes running on a SMP machine where if one goes idle
another can make use of the slack.

you can argue both ways on the effectivness of this, it is being looked
into becouse 2 CPU SMP boxes are becoming cheap enough to experiment
with. the jury is still out on it as far as I know.

David Lang


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